Training question

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Training question

Postby TXBirdHunter » Sun May 07, 2017 12:32 am

First off, I'm new to the forum and thought I'd say hello! I picked up my first gundog a few months ago. She was 2.5 years old when I got her. I was able to get her on some preserve birds before it got too hot here in TX. She's a GSP. Things have gone great so far, she's a joy to be around and seemed to do really well. Anyway, my question is this... the previous owner said he had put some money into her training and she's pretty solid hunting upland game. However, in an ideal world I'd like her to be a waterfowl dog as well. At 3 years old, do you think she'all be able to pick up waterfowl hunting or do you think my money would be better spent on furthering her training for upland birds. I'd say I hunt about 70% quail and 30% ducks here in South Texas. Thanks for the help!
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Re: Training question

Postby Doc E » Sun May 07, 2017 7:26 pm

With water that doesn't get too cold, and distances usually seen in waterfowl hunting, and getting on a good retriever training program, your GSP should do an adequate job.

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Re: Training question

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Sun May 07, 2017 7:29 pm

Agree with Doc. When I trained at a Ca kennel, GSPS were big in Ca. Many would break them out on upland for 2 years then bring them in for waterfowl. Was seldom a problem and rarely a problem if we had given the dog it's basics when young.
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Re: Training question

Postby Coveyrise64 » Sun May 07, 2017 8:23 pm

If the dog hasn't been introduced to water that will be your first hurdle. Before I start any regimented retriever training drills for a v-dog I want them showing a desire to enter the water on their own as it were another field search and show the desire to do a solid duck search. They need to know the water is a fun place for them first of all. It will be the only place they don't have to point and can chase until they either catch the duck or it is shot for them to retrieve. Later, marks, steadiness at the blind and any handling drills needed will be taught. To much early obedience for a v-dog can and sometimes does create confusion and/or hesitation at the water.

I do things differently than most on here but IMO.....if they don't have a positive connection with the water no amount of training will make them a dependable water fowl dog. Just depends on what your needs are.

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Re: Training question

Postby Densa44 » Sun May 07, 2017 9:44 pm

They love ducks, there is lots of action usually lots of birds (you are usually shooting 2 limits) the water in TX I'll bet is warm so that shouldn't be a problem.

Give it a shot and see how it goes. If she hasn't been swimming yet just hook her up and walk in with her until her feet can't touch and she is swimming. She'll love it.
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Re: Training question

Postby TXBirdHunter » Sun May 07, 2017 10:59 pm

Thanks for the replies everyone! She definitely loves the water. I've thrown bumpers in the ponds for her and she has no hesitation to retrieve and swim. I guess I'll just have to see how much duck hunting vs quail hunting I'll be doing this season and decide, but after these replies I wouldn't hesitate to send her off for waterfowl training!
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Re: Training question

Postby Willie T » Sun May 07, 2017 11:48 pm

TX, A gsp is more than capable of doing the work. One of my buddies hunts a gsp that does a decent job on waterfowl but on cold windy days it does need a vest to stay warm. Depending on what part of the state you are in make sure the water you pick to train in is gator free.
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Re: Training question

Postby Fun Dog » Mon May 08, 2017 10:06 am

My Viking never saw a bird before she was 3. I decided to train her for the UT test when she was 7. She earned a prize 1 and she's a hunting fool. Dogs (and people) are never to old to learn something new.
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